Volume 10, Number 5

Natural Language Processing through the Subtractive Mountain Clustering
Algorithm - A Medication Intake Chatbot


Paulo A. Salgado and T-P Azevedo Perdicoulis, Escola de Ciencias e Tecnologia Universidade de Tr´as-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Portugal


In this work, the subtractive mountain clustering algorithm has been adapted to the problem of natural languages processing in view to construct a chatbot that answers questions posed by the user. The implemented algorithm version allosws for the association of a set of words into clusters. After finding the centre of every cluster — the most relevant word, all the others are aggregated according to a defined metric adapted to the language processing realm. All the relevant stored information (necessary to answer the questions) is processed, as well as the questions, by the algorithm. The correct processing of the text enables the chatbot to produce answers that relate to the posed queries. Since we have in view a chatbot to help elder people with medication, to validate the method, we use the package insert of a drug as the available information and formulate associated questions. Errors in medication intake among elderly people are very common. One of the main causes for this is their loss of ability to retain information. The high amount of medicine intake required by the advanced age is another limiting factor. Thence, the design of an interactive aid system, preferably using natural language, to help the older population with medication is in demand. A chatbot based on a subtractive cluster algorithm is the chosen solution.


chatbot, medicine intake aid system, natural language processing, subtractive mountain clustering.